The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) received complaints from area residents Wednesday about a petroleum odor in the vicinity of where the Rover Pipeline crosses Dexter Townhall Road near Pinckney State Recreational Area.
Upon inspection, MDEQ confirmed the smell of petroleum from the water flushed out of the pipeline as well as a visible slick in the dewatering containment.
Further inspection by the Remediation and Redevelopment Division on Thursday suspected the contaminants were coming from an old gas station in the vicinity. Samples were taken of discharged water.
MDEQ suspects that the source of the petroleum contamination is from the gas stations ground water that is being drawn upon in the dewatering process.
Discharged water from the pipeline drains into a nearby wetland. Even though the contamination is not a result of pipeline construction, since the water is contaminated the Rover Pipeline Project must be covered by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit.
The Rover Pipeline Project was issued a violation Friday and must cease unauthorized discharges and register water withdrawal as necessary.
The violation comes on the heels of a summer of protests by area residents trying to stop the construction of the pipeline for fear of its environmental impact.
The Rover Pipeline is a 713-mile pipeline designed to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of domestically produced natural gas from the rapidly expanding Marcellus and Utica shale production areas in West Virginia to markets across the U.S. and Canada.
A third of the natural gas volume will be delivered to Michigan via a Livingston County interconnection that links The Rover Pipeline with the existing Vector Pipeline for distribution throughout the state.
The Rover Pipeline interconnect passes through Washtenaw County for 28.27 miles. Dexter Township has 7.13 of those miles.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s most recent report on natural gas consumption, Michigan is the 9th largest consumer of natural gas in the United States.
The Rover Pipeline Project has until Oct. 18 to submit a written response to MDEQ outlining their intents and actions for resolution to the problem.